Are you sabotaging your weight loss and not even really knowing it? It takes effort and thought to maintain a diet and fitness plan. You may be overlooking habits in your life that aren’t great for your health plans.
Here are 12 weight loss sabotagers and what you can do to avoid them.
1. Drinking your calories
I am sure you have heard this before when it comes to soda and high-calorie coffee drinks. But what about all those healthy smoothies and juices you are consuming.
Studies show that you will feel fuller and be more satiated if you eat your fruit rather than drinking it in smoothies and juices. Just the act of chewing will turn your brain’s responses on that it is filling a need and will report back full.
Instead of the juice, have some water and a piece of fruit. You will get the flavor and hydration and will eat less because you are eating real food that will nourish and keep you full between meals.
2. Not drinking enough water
Number one brings me to number two on the list. You are not drinking enough water. Even if water is all you are drinking during the day, it may not be enough. Depending on your level of activity and the weather, you might need more than the commonly recommended 8 fluid ounces a day.
Most of us are chronically dehydrated. You will feel the effects of dehydration at 1 to 2% dehydrated levels.
A good rule to follow is to make sure you are drinking 6-8 ounces of water each hour, more if you have been doing any vigorous activity.
When you don’t get enough water, your brain may signal that it is hungry. Instead of eating right away, drink a glass of water first and rule out that it isn’t just dehydration.
3. Eating too many snacks
Healthy snacks are a great resource when you are trying to lose weight. They keep you full between meals and give you the energy to make it through your day without needing to reach for something sugary.
However, eating too many snacks, whether healthy or otherwise, can add more calories to your day than you initially planned on.
Make sure to pack the snacks you are going to eat that day and don’t add in any extras. If you don’t have it on hand, it will be much more difficult to mindlessly snack.
4. You aren’t eating the right foods
Sure, one cookie may have the same calories as ½ a cup of hummus, but which one will keep you full and satisfied for longer?
We can all fall into the habit of reaching for what’s most convenient, but maybe not what is going to nourish us the best.
The old saying goes that not all calories are equal and it still holds up to be true. There are those that will keep you full for longer and others that will wear off in less than an hour. Just think of how much broccoli you can have instead of chips for the same amount of calories.
Make sure what you are eating is going to keep you full and satisfied for the longest amount of time as possible.
Plant-based foods that will keep you full and going for a long time are beans and nuts. Try to incorporate them into your midday meal and snack.
5. You don’t plan ahead
We all know the old adage: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I definitely find this to be true. You may have the greatest intentions to eat super healthy today and steer clear of the junk food and certainly won’t be visiting the vending machine at work or stopping at the drive-thru on the way home.
But wait, you didn’t make a meal plan for the day so you are unprepared for lunch and snacks during your busy day. Then you head home and have no idea what you are going to prepare for dinner.
Don’t let this controllable part of your life sabotage your health plans. Each week, you should be creating a meal plan that will be easy to follow. Plan out your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. If you need help starting a meal plan, check out my free ebook here.
6. You are not doing enough cardio
I know, cardio is hated by some of us(most of us). It was not my favorite part of my exercise plan at first either. The more often you do cardio though, the easier it will be to get through your sweat session. Now I look forward to going for a run or bike ride.
There is nothing like getting your heart rate pumping to get your adrenaline rush on. You can do cardio exercises most days of the week too unlike strength training where you have to give your muscles rest.
Cardio exercises will get your heart rate pumping and keep it going. Once you get into your target heart rate zone, you are in the most efficient place to burn a ton of calories. The more calories you burn, the bigger your calorie deficit will get, which will make losing the weight even quicker.
7. You are not doing enough strength training
It always seems like you are either a cardio person or strength training person. I have heard it before too many times to count. I don’t like strength training and only do cardio.
If you only stick to cardio training, you are missing out on the amazing benefits that strength training provides your body.
It may seem like cardio burns way more calories than strength training, but you need to take into account that even after you stop training, your metabolism is going to remain heightened for around 36 hours.
The more lean muscle you have, the higher your overall metabolic rate will be as well. So over the long term, you will be burning calories more efficiently.
Work in some strength training into your fitness routine. It’s easy to get results with just 15 to 20 minutes of strength training 3 times a week.
8. Giving up too quickly
Are you always giving up on your fitness goals when you don’t see immediate results? It takes time for your body to transform enough for you and those around you to notice any changes.
I know we all are waiting for those compliments about how great we look, but you will only get them by sticking with your plan long term.
It is hard at first to get used to a different approach to eating just like it takes time to break any habit. Research has shown that it takes around 21 days for us to form a new habit and just as long to break a habit.
It will take time to get into the mindset of eating whole foods and getting into a workout routine. Once you can make these habits stick, then it will get so much easier to maintain your healthy lifestyle.
9. Eating too few calories
Eating too few calories can be as detrimental to your weight loss goals as eating too many calories. If you aren’t maintaining at least 1200 calories a day for women and 1500 for a man, your body will go into starvation mode and your metabolism will slow down, maybe long term.
If you are restricting your calories during the day, you also run into the possibility of binging later on at night.
If you are making sure you are eating good, nutritious meals that fulfill your caloric needs, then you will still lose weight and it is not necessary to drastically cut the calories you are eating every day.
10. Miscalculating calories from food
This is definitely an area that we all underestimate how many calories we are actually eating. Say you are eating an apple and aren’t sure what size it is considered and you go for the size with fewer calories.
If you do this all day long, you will end up eating way more calories than you ever intended on eating that day.
When in doubt, follow the hand measuring for food guidelines. Your fist is 1 cup, your palm is 3-4 ounces, two cupped hands is 1 ounce, 1 cupped hand is a ½ cup, your thumbnail is 1 tsp, and your thumb is 1-2 tbsp.
11. Avoiding foods you love
We are way too strict on ourselves when we start a diet plan. We cut out our favorite “bad” foods as soon as we start thinking of losing weight.
This thinking can often lead to binging and quitting your diet plan. Not only will you be unhappy, but you won’t let yourself truly embrace your new lifestyle by constantly thinking back to the days you could eat whatever you like.
No diet should ever be so black and white. As long as you don’t overindulge and keep the rest of your diet on track, there is no reason not to have some of your favorite foods still fit into your healthy lifestyle.
In fact, including some indulgences may keep you on track and keep you from quitting.
12. You keep trying fad diets
Diets become fads for a reason. They promise you amazing results in a really quick time period. Chances are these fad diets are not healthy options and impossible to maintain long term. If that newest diet seems too good to be true then it probably is.
You want this change to be permanent so why waste your time on a fad that isn’t going to stick. It’s always much better to stick to the method that fits your lifestyle and pick a method that you can use long term.
If you make your diet a lifestyle change rather than something you have to do for a few months to lose weight than you will find your self slipping back into your old ways.
If you make it a lifestyle change, you will naturally make healthier choices so that you will feel great and lose weight.